Heed the Founders
Several of the Founding Fathers warned Americans about the perils of a two-party system. Political parties have created tension among Americans throughout history. The growing polarization of that arrangement is tearing America apart.
Too many of us strictly stick to the doctrine of a party, rather than formulating our own opinions. This is boosted by people isolating themselves from people and media they disagree with, as everything in the ideological media outlets is now twisted to fit a narrative.
During the 2016 campaign, we saw supporters of Donald Trump who couldn’t understand people who supported someone so fraudulent. Hillary Clinton supporters couldn’t understand people who supported someone so ignorant.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
“Liberal” and “conservative” are used as insults.
Some people argue that political parties are necessary so citizens can group themselves with like-minded people. That can become harmful when people shut themselves off from opposing views.
Others say that political parties make voting easier. People should vote for the candidates they think are best, regardless of the party they belong to, but many no longer put any more thought into it than that. Which party has more control is seemingly more important.
If the partisan divide in America continues to grow, we as a country will continue to fall apart.
My letter to Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts and Rep. Kevin Yoder:
I request your assistance in securing VA medical benefits for all honorably discharged U.S. veterans — benefits we earned and to which we are legitimately entitled.
I served in the U.S. Army infantry from 1969 to 1972 and was honorably discharged. I am classified as Priority Group 8g by the VA, which means I make too much money to receive VA medical benefits. This is very interesting because I do not recall any discussion during my service indicating that benefits are tied to the amount of money an individual possessed, nor do I believe that it should be.
Upon entering civilian life, I enrolled in my employer’s medical benefit program and never sought VA care until my retirement in 2011. So from my perspective, the VA never paid for services to which I was legitimately entitled for 39 years.
Many eligible individuals never fulfilled their military obligation and were later granted amnesty by President Gerald Ford. That was a mistake and a slap in the face to those who did their patriotic duty. But it is yet another reason to give all honorably discharged veterans what they are entitled to.
Why not now?
The Star’s Oct. 7 editorial, “Hawley wants to end Obamacare. But he doesn’t have a better idea” (18A) pointed out the flaws in Senate candidate and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s ridiculous proposal to supposedly protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions while he is suing to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees that coverage. It also stated, “we’re not ready to endorse” single-payer insurance.
In all seriousness: Why not? I would love to see more public discussion of the merits of single-payer coverage. There would undoubtedly be challenges in implementing such a system, but it’s hard to see what objections (other than those from people profiting off the current system) could outweigh the bloat and inefficiency of the current system, which leads to costs that far exceed the rest of the world’s.
Americans are sick and tired of paying hundreds of dollars in premiums each month only to wonder how many thousands more they’ll still be on the hook for if they need a procedure or hospital visit. People are avoiding needed care because they are afraid of being bankrupted because of medical bills.
It is long past time to expand Medicare for all — and to protect current funding for Medicare, while we’re at it.
Cool heads, please
Recently, I was driving around town. I was in a 35 mph zone, so I drove 35 mph. Everybody passed me. Then I was in a 55 mph zone, and I drove 55 mph. Everybody passed me. Same in a 65 mph zone. Why can’t people follow the laws?
Several years ago, I recall a letter writer complaining about getting a ticket for running a red light despite not stopping at the red light before going through. Doesn’t the law state you can turn right on a red light after a complete stop? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Take responsibility for your bad decisions instead of blaming someone else. When a light changes or you hear a siren — even at a stop sign — take a minute and look around to see if it’s safe to proceed.
Even if one police car has passed, there might be another one coming.